The Newcastle United squad flew out to Ireland on Wednesday.

Their pre-season training camp is being hosted by Carton House in County Kildare.

The hotel/complex is near Dublin, where Newcastle will play their first pre-season friendly against St Patrick’s Athletic on Tuesday night.

This is now the third pre-season in a row where Rafa Benitez has travelled with his players to the same location.

After promotion as champions and a tenth place in the Premier League, why change it?

Normally, the club reveal each time who is in the Newcastle United squad that travels for this pre-season trip, which then allows us to quickly work out who hasn’t travelled…

This time the club haven’t confirmed who has gone, whether that is simply an oversight or to lower the conversation on why others haven’t gone, who knows?

However, after looking through the various stuff from the club and media, this appears to be the entire travelling party.

Adam Armstrong

Rolando Aarons

Christian Atsu

Ciaran Clark

Karl Darlow

Mohamed Diame

Martin Dubravka

Paul Dummett

Rob Elliot

Victor Fernandez

Dwight Gayle

Isaac Hayden

Kenedy

Jamaal Lascelles

Florian Lejeune

Sean Longstaff

Javier Manquillo

Jacob Murphy

Ayoze Perez

Matt Ritchie

Callum Roberts

Matz Sels

Jonjo Shelvey

Jamie Sterry

Freddie Woodman

Josef Yarney

DeAndre Yedlin

That makes 28 in the travelling squad and as for those missing:

Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ki Sung-yueng have extended holiday due to World Cup commitments.

Chancel Mbemba is reported by north east media to have been told to stay at home in anticipation of a transfer soon…

Also missing are Achraf Lazaar, Jack Colback and Henri Saivet, none of them having playing futures at the club.

Whilst 28 suggests a strong/big squad for the coming season,the reality is maybe something quite different.

For starters, the Newcastle United squad in Ireland includes seven younger players who won’t be in first team squad contention this season, with most going out on loan: Adam Armstrong, Victor Fernandez, Sean Longstaff, Callum Roberts. Jamie Sterry, Freddie Woodman, and Josef Yarney also travelled to Ireland. Sterry is looking for another club as he is also one who Rafa is looking at.

So if you take these seven above away, we are left with 21 players in Ireland.

Four of those 21 are goalkeepers (Sels, Darlow, Elliot and Dubravka), which then leaves 17 outfield players.

With it being revealed on Saturday that Isaac Hayden is set to move back down south due to family/personal reasons, this leaves 16:

I think it is clear Joselu, Javier Manquillo and Rolando Aarons don’t have what it takes, whilst maybe Jacob Murphy will have one day, but nothing to suggest that will be this season (when it comes to thinking which players are/aren’t good enough, I simply ask myself that if they left Newcastle, would another PL club sign them?).

That leaves us with Mohamed Diame, Paul Dummett, Dwight Gayle, Kenedy, Jamaal Lascelles, Florian Lejeune, Ayoze Perez, Matt Ritchie, Jonjo Shelvey and DeAndre Yedlin, which is basically the team (with Dubravka) that played will in the final three months of the season.

You also have Christian Atsu and Ciaran Clark as squad players, making for me a decent dozen outfield players plus goalkeepers.

Mitro is surely leaving so with Ki Sung-yueng to add, we appear to have goalkeepers plus 13 decent/good enough outfield players as it stands.

If once the Premier League season starts and the transfer window has ended, we are relying once again on the likes of Joselu and Manquillo (and others) to help us make a squad of 18 on matchdays, then Newcastle will face a massive struggle this coming season.

Quality players need to be signed and soon.

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  • Paul Patterson

    Tick tock, tick tock. Only three weeks left of the transfer window.

  • Mark Potter

    Sam, are you sure Hayden is in Ireland? The club have published probably up to 100 pictures of the squad in the last few days, from getting on the plane, meeting fans and training sessions. I don’t see him mentioned in the individual/small group pics, and I couldn’t spot him in the large group pics. I might have missed him, but I guessed the club didn’t supply the list of players there so as not to draw attention to his situation. But the Mirror found out and published the story.

  • Tony English

    Lot’s of work involved writing that article Sam, chipping away at the squad and boiling it down to sensible conclusions. If only The Chronicle put in that amount of graft into their pieces instead of giving us…

    “Who will replace Isaac Hayden at Newcastle United? Here are 7 options Rafa Benitez could consider”

    …and including the likes of the recently acquired £35million Drinkwater and (probable transfer fee breaking) Loftus-Cheek who they go onto say we’d have to buy outright as we can’t have two loans from Chelsea.

  • TheFatController

    We shouldn’t spend big money, the apologists on here have pointed out how the big signings never work out.

    Quite how, based on this amazing insight, the big six manage to finish in the top 6 remains a mystery however. They must have some awful players, the money they lash out on expensive flops.

    The folly of Man City’s big spending can be seen in their players too busy playing in the latter stages of the World Cup when they should be with their club.

    Money down the drain, I think we can all agree?

    When did City last win anything ? Money = flops, clearly. Keep on keeping on. mike Ashley.

    • 1957

      It’s always amazed me why the rest of the PL haven’t copied Big Mike’s recipe for running a football club, they could have avoided the stress of trying to win things/qualifying for Europe… what a bunch of losers?

      I worry for us this summer though, the Monk has assured us the are more players coming and we will break our transfer record.

    • MadMag83

      A lot of our big money signings under Ashley haven’t worked out simply because they’ve not been worth the money. Rather than pay say £20m for the player at the top of the scouts list, we’ll baulk at the price and pay a bit less for somebody who isn’t as good.

  • Keeganontherebound

    Good points. All those who say on here the level of investment is fine as we finished in the top ten forget we are only ever 2-3 injuries away from being really lightweight. We need a proper squad, not just an okayish first 11.

  • Ron

    Have you not thought that Sels might try playing as Striker – couldn’t do any worse!

  • MadMag83

    Would like to see Longstaff get a senior game this season.